Our Tax Dollars at Work

Posted on Thursday 18 August 2005

Today, on my way over to see a client, I saw something that made me laugh. In Canton, right on Neponset Street, there is a Dunkin’ Donuts shop. In New England, Dunkin’ Donuts is the local 800-pound gorilla of donut shops—they’re based in Rhode Island. The shop is relatively new, as it wasn’t there last year as I remember it. The thing that made me laugh was how there was a police officer stationed at the donut shop—yes, stationed there. He was stopping the heavy morning rush-hour traffic on Neponset street, so the store’s customers could exit and enter traffic easily.

I guess that all the common stereotypes have some basis in fact—some tiny kernel of truth to them. I’ve seen a few strange things related to donut shops and the police, like the time a few years back, I saw five police cruisers at one Dunkin’ Donuts, at one a.m.—six officers sitting at the counter, including the shift supervisor—I could tell from his cruiser, as it is marked slightly differently from the patrol cruisers. Another one was the time I was on I-90 and was watching a state police cruiser with its lights on hurry into a service plaza on the turnpike. The lights were shut off as the cruiser pulling into the new Honey Dew Donuts drive-thru that had recently opened there.

I wonder if the good citizens of Canton realize they are paying an officer to spend a part of their morning at a donut shop. I can understand positioning an officer to help reduce congestion or improve traffic flow, but having one stationed at a donut shop strikes me as, at best, a questionable decision.

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